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May 8, 2024 - 7 minutes

Advantages of Learning to Code as a Designer

Did you know that you can advance your design career by learning to code?

Juliette Carreiro - Tech Writer

Whether you've just graduated and are looking for a career in web design, are about to start a new job, or are established in the world of web designers, gaining a new tech skill is always a good idea to help you maintain a competitive advantage over other candidates. And while you don't need a knowledge of coding to design a website, being familiar with HTML, CSS, and JavaScript will make you a great asset to any multidisciplinary design team.

In its simplest form, coding is the basic building block for designing any digital product, allowing us to communicate with computers, telling them what to do and how to behave. Adding coding to your knowledge of User Interface (UI), User Experience (UX), and Search Engine Optimization (SEO), will give you the necessary skill sets to become a talented and employable web designer. 

While it’s not a necessary requirement and certainly won’t create a barrier for you when trying to land a job as a designer, the world is becoming increasingly connected and the more understanding you have of how websites are built, the better you’ll be able to work with your programmer colleagues. 

And that’s precisely why we wrote this article: to help you understand the advantages of learning the basics of coding. Ready? Let’s dive in. 

Learning to Code as a Designer 

There’s no need to panic: very few UX/UI roles will require a deep knowledge of coding or programming. However, with an understanding of the basics of coding and the ability to do a few basic commands yourself, you’ll not only be a better designer, but a better teammate. 

There are tons of reasons to learn to code as a designer, but take a look at these seven and see if we’ve managed to convince you. 

You’ll gain another skill

There is never a downside to learning a new skill! Learning the fundamentals of coding helps you develop a better understanding of the whole design process and with this knowledge, you'll see the scope of what is possible with any design project as well as an idea of where future difficulties may lay. 

You'll also have given yourself the tools to overcome these difficulties. On a personal level, acquiring new skills keeps your mind agile and develops your creativity, which is a bonus in both your personal life and your career.

You’ll be able to use more design tools

While coding know-how isn't essential for web designers, some newer design tools are more effective with at least a basic knowledge of it. For example, to get the best out of Framer, some knowledge of JavaScript is essential. And once you have mastered one type of coding, you're better able to master other codes you encounter.

You’ll better understand your project 

As a web designer, you're responsible for creating a consistent visual language that translates into a problem-free user experience for the final product and trying to explain your vision to a coder without something getting lost in the translation can be tricky. However, with some knowledge of coding, the number of errors that may occur between design and implementation is reduced. 

By giving your web developer some code instructions along with your design documents, you'll maintain greater control of the finished product, which leads to a reduction in project time, saving the customer money and freeing you up to tackle other design commissions.

You’ll better understand what is possible–and what isn’t 

You have this wonderful idea for your web design, visualizing an impressive finished product. But are these ideas realistic? When you know how to code, you can be more realistic about your design parameters. You'll know what is or isn't possible and may even have an idea for making the impossible possible.

You’ll better communicate with your team

As a web designer, you'll probably be working as part of a development team and having at least a basic knowledge of what other team members are doing makes this collaboration work smoothly and effectively. When you understand the basics of languages such as HTML and CSS, you are better able to communicate professionally with your tech colleagues. 

With this common language, you’ll be able to confidently pitch your ideas and ask team members questions while giving the right instructions for bringing your ideas to fruition.

You may discover a new passion

Possessing graphic design skills is a great career opener, but learning how to code as well opens an entirely new door into the design world, changing how you view the design, enabling you to be even more creative and innovative. Being able to start a design project totally from scratch is inspirational; the limit to what you can create depends only on your ideas and vision. And by knowing how to code, your career may turn into your hobby.

You’ll become more employable 

Every modern company has ongoing web design needs and this means that there is no shortage of career prospects in digital design. These careers come with satisfying salaries, location flexibility, and very often, the chance of setting your own hours and work-life balance:

  • The more design skills you can demonstrate on your CV and during the interview process, the more attractive you become to employers who are looking for truly multidisciplinary teams. 

  • Once established in a career, learning a new skill opens doors to promotion. With the ability to both design and code, your value to your employer soars. 

  • Instead of bringing in outside coders with the expense that involves, your skills can be utilized

  • You'll be much more confident in pitching ideas and advising clients.

If you've decided that learning how to code will enhance your value in the employment market, then Ironhack’s Web Development Bootcamp is the clear next step

In just 9 or 24 weeks, part or full-time, you’ll learn all the skills you need to operate fully in the fast-growing tech industry, learning commonly used languages such as HTML, CSS, React, and JavaScript by immersing you in real-world scenarios. 

Throughout your entire course and up to one year after graduation, you’ll have access to our Career Services to help you with the interview process and job hunt, ensuring you’re well on your way to tech success.

We can’t wait to see you in class.

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